Masks are required in the Library and on the Bookmobile following guidance from the Johnson County Public Health Department.

ICPL Top Picks for 2020 Sci Fi/Fantasy & Graphic Novels

by Sam

Each winter the ICPL staff vote on our favorite books published during the current year. We call this vote the ICPL TOP PICKS. Our ten TOP PICKS categories are Fiction, Young Adult, Picture Books, Middle Grade and Children’s, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Biographies and Memoirs, Nonfiction, and Graphic Novels.

How do our TOP PICKS for SCI-FI/FANTASY and GRAPHIC NOVELS match your favorite reading experiences in 2020? We would like to hear about your favorites too!

Stay tuned for the BEST OF THE BEST list for the year which will be awarded from each TOP PICKS category. The title with the most staff nominations will be awarded the honor of ICPL BEST BOOK of 2020. We'll announce the BEST OF THE BEST for 2020 and our pick for BEST BOOK of 2020 on December 31.

We hope you enjoy our favorite SCI-FI/FANTASY and GRAPHIC NOVELS books of 2020. Let us know if we may connect you with any titles that you find interesting!

The city we became

N. K. Jemisin

SCIENCE FICTION Jemisin N. K.

"Five New Yorkers must come together in order to save their city from destruction in the first book of a stunning new series by Hugo award-winning and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin. Every great city has a soul. Some are ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York? She's got six. When a young man crosses the bridge into New York City, something changes. He doesn't remember who he is, where he's from, or even his own name. But he can feel the pulse of the city, can see its history, can access its magic. And he's not the only one. All across the boroughs, strange things are happening. Something is threatening to destroy the city and her six newborn avatars unless they can come together and stop it once and for all"--

A deadly education : a novel

Naomi Novik

SCIENCE FICTION Novik Naomi

"Enter a school of magic unlike any you have ever encountered: There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won't allow its students to leave until they graduate . . . or die. The rules are deceptively simple: Don't walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere. El is uniquely prepared for the school's dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out untold millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students. So El is trying her hardest not to use her power . . . at least not until she has no other option. Meanwhile, her fellow student, the insufferable Orion Lake, is making heroism look like a breeze. He's saved hundreds of lives--including El's - with his flashy combat magic. But in the spring of their junior year, after Orion rescues El for the second time and makes her look like more of an outcast than she already is, she reaches an impulsive conclusion: Orion Lake must die. But El is about to learn some lessons she never could in the classroom: About the school. About Orion Lake. And about who she really is."--Provided by publisher.

The last Emperox

John Scalzi

SCIENCE FICTION Scalzi John

"The Last Emperox is the thrilling conclusion to the award-winning, New York Times and USA Today bestselling Interdependency series, an epic space opera adventure from Hugo Award-winning author John Scalzi. The collapse of The Flow, the interstellar pathway between the planets of the Interdependency, has accelerated. Entire star systems--and billions of people--are becoming cut off from the rest of human civilization. This collapse was foretold through scientific prediction . . . and yet, even as the evidence is obvious and insurmountable, many still try to rationalize, delay and profit from, these final days of one of the greatest empires humanity has ever known. Emperox Grayland II has finally wrested control of her empire from those who oppose her and who deny the reality of this collapse. But "control" is a slippery thing, and even as Grayland strives to save as many of her people form impoverished isolation, the forces opposing her rule will make a final, desperate push to topple her from her throne and power, by any means necessary. Grayland and her thinning list of allies must use every tool at their disposal to save themselves, and all of humanity. And yet it may not be enough. Will Grayland become the savior of her civilization . . . or the last emperox to wear the crown?"--Jacket flap.

The once and future witches

Alix E. Harrow

SCIENCE FICTION Harrow Alix

"In the late 1800s, three sisters use witchcraft to change the course of history in Alix E. Harrow's powerful novel of magic and the suffragette movement. In 1893, there's no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box. But when the Eastwood sisters -- James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna -- join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women's movement into the witch's movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote -- and perhaps not even to live -- the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive. There's no such thing as witches. But there will be"--

Check, please!

Ngozi Ukazu

GRAPHIC NOVEL Ukazu Check

"Eric Bittle may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur pâtissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It is nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia! First of all? There's checking (anything that hinders the player with possession of the puck, ranging from a stick check all the way to a physical sweep). And then, there is Jack-- his very attractive but moody captain"--Provided by publisher.

Dragon hoops

Gene Luen Yang

BIOGRAPHY Yang, Gene Luen

Gene understands stories - comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins. But Gene doesn't get sports. As a kid, his friends called him "Stick" and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it's all anyone can talk about. The men's varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that's been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships. Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he's seen on a comic book page. He knows he has to follow this epic to its end. What he doesn't know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons's lives, but his own life as well.

The phantom twin

Lisa Brown

GRAPHIC NOVEL Brown

"Isabel and Jane are the Extraordinary Peabody Sisters, conjoined twins in a traveling carnival freak show--until an ambitious surgeon tries to separate them and fails, causing Jane's death. Isabel has lost an arm and a leg but gained a ghostly companion: her dead twin is now her phantom limb. Haunted, altered, and alone for the first time, can Isabel build a new life that's truly her own?"--Provided by publisher.